An Interpretation of Desire: Essays in the Study of by John Gagnon PDF

Cultural Studies

By John Gagnon

An Interpretation of Desire bargains a bracing choice of significant essays through John Gagnon, one of many top and most provoking figures in sexual learn. Spanning his paintings from the Nineteen Seventies, whilst he explored the concept sexuality is mediated via social methods and categories—thus paving the way in which for Foucault—and then extending via his flip to problems with hope in the course of the Nineteen Nineties, those essays represent an important entrée to the examine of sexuality within the 20th century.

Gagnon will be most sensible often called the coauthor of Sexual Conduct—a publication that brought the seminal idea of sexual scripting—and as one of many coauthors of The Social association of Sexuality, a foundational paintings that's greatly thought of to be crucial research of human sexual habit because the Kinsey record. The essays gathered right here first hint the impact of scripting concept on Gagnon, outlining the unconventional departure he took from the dominant organic and psychiatric versions of intercourse examine. the amount then turns to more moderen essays that think of such vexed concerns as homosexuality, the theories of Sigmund Freud, HIV, dangerous intercourse, and the social facets of sexually transmitted illnesses.

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Additional info for An Interpretation of Desire: Essays in the Study of Sexuality (Worlds of Desire: The Chicago Series on Sexuality, Gender, and Culture)

Sample text

When I scanned this essay in preparation for this book, the scanner misread the word Jewishness as Juiciness. To take a class in Juiciness, what a treat. An U n l ikely S t o r y 9 But it was the membrane between the university and the city that offered the most vivid possibilities. It was a stage for the most romantic, bohemian pretenses: drinking at the High Hat or Jimmy's; listening to jazz at the Cadillac and Crown Propeller lounges on Sixty-third Street, at the Beehive on Fifty-fifth Street, or at the Sutherland Lounge on South Parkway; and listening to folk music on the Folkways record label, the lo­ cal Young People's Socialist League singers, or at Big Bill and Moore's.

I never learned his first name, but it was of course a different time, and I would not have called him by it in any case. During the period I knew Nathan he must have been bar mitzvahed, but I was not aware of that event even as a ceremony, nor was I aware that hundreds of thousands of children our same age were being murdered in Europe. Nathan and I quarreled violently on the handball court when we were fifteen; he hit me with the ball three times, I thought deliberately. I threw the ball at him and hit him, the only Jew I ever physically attacked, but I did not know then that he was a Jew.

Long af­ ter my father died, my mother said to me that she was glad that she had outlived him because he was already thinking of returning to the mines. Indeed, he had taken some of their tiny savings to buy part of a gold mine with an old comrade from the Industrial Workers of the World. She had rescued the savings, and she thought she had rescued me. At the same time his death was the most distal cause of my attending the University of Chicago. My mother faced the choice of whether we should continue to live in California or return to Fall River, Massachu­ setts, where her remaining family still lived.

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